Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jpbotha 01-25-2009 05:24 AM

New 70G tank - Need cycling advice
Hi there

I got hold of a 70G tank for an excellent price and could not resist. I please need advice for the quickest and easiest way to cycle the tank. I have a Cascade 1000 canister filter that came with the tank. 2 inch of new medium gravel with one long air stone + air pump at the back and a 30 watt flouresant light. I want to utilise it for freshwater fish.
I have searched the internet but dont always understand what they mean. Please help. I really want to start this tank properly. This fish thing has gotten hold of me now.

onefish2fish 01-25-2009 06:29 AM

well welcome to the forums.
glad you want to do things right but slow down just a bit. fishless cycling IMO is the best way to go. it doesnt harm any fish and is actually faster because you dont have to perform water changes throughout the cycle. regardless your cycle is going to take anywhere from a few weeks to even a month or so, everyones tank cycles at a different rate. i suggest buying a good liquid test kit, API makes a decent one thats called "master freshwater kit" or something along those lines. they sell for $25-40 in stores but you can find them online for about $20.
a quick google search or search on these forums will lead to great results on "fishless cycling" to sum it up it basically requires you to feed the tank ( w/ pure ammonia or fish food ) for the good bacteria to grow. your going to want the substrate and filter running on the tank will you do this as these are places where the bacteria establishes. using your test kit your going to see ammonia levels first, then nitrite levels, then nitrate. you can even add some gravel from a healthy already established tank (put inside a pantyhose) and set it in your tank to "seed" it. this isnt required but wouldnt hurt.
your going to want a heater on the tank while it cycles too, do you have any general idea of the fish you want to stock? while the tank cycles its a good idea to take that time to research compatibility, max growth size and eating habbits of the fish you like, you can also post what you like here and someone will be glad to answer their opinion if they think it will work or not, hope that helps

doing research before making decisions always yeilds the best results, glad you found the forums, please dont hesitate to ask any questions

jpbotha 01-25-2009 07:09 AM

Thanks. Is there any measurements of the amount and type of food that you have to feed your tank to start the cycle. I have an API freshwater test kit to monitor the cycle, but I have no idea what the levels are suppose to be. Will do a bit more researh on fishless cycles. Will keep you updated with the status of my tank. This looks like a great fishforum and hope the forum has got the time cause Im gonna have a lot of questions soon to master this hobby.

Twistersmom 01-25-2009 07:38 AM

I am now doing a fishless cycle using blue ribbon ammonia. Ace hardware also sells pure ammonia, if you have trouble finding some. To determine how much to use, I put fresh water in a 5gal bucket. I used a dropper and added ammonia till I got a reading of 4ppm. Keep track of the # of drops you used to get to this level. ( Stir the water in the bucket to spread the ammonia) Then you will be able to calculate how many drops are needed for a 70gal tank. Subtract a few drops for the space gravel and decor take up. Always better to start out with to few drops then add to much.

jpbotha 02-08-2009 09:15 AM

I eventually decided to cycle the tank with fish. The tank was running without fish, just fish food for one week. No significant change in water parameters was observed due to a lack of a heater.
I added the heater and a product from SERA, NITRIVEC that contains various bio cultures. Also added few Red Eye Tetras, White Tip and Neon Tetras to start the cycle. Kept temperature constant at 26 degrees celcuis. The NITRIVEC (25ml per 250litre) is added everyday for 10 days.
To my surprise there was a small ammonia and nitrite spike on day two, but no nitrate reading yet.
As from day 4 ammonia and nitrite reading was 0. Nitrate increased to 20ppm. Past 9 days no increase in ammonia or nitrite.
More fish was added from my other tank and this one still remained stable.

Burninator 02-08-2009 11:53 AM

using food takes longer then using pure ammonia.

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